Friday, November 15, 2013

Kansas v. Crane case brief

Kansas v. Crane case brief summary
534 U.S. 407 (2002)

Petitioner State sought the civil commitment of respondent, a previously convicted sexual offender, under the Kansas Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA), Kan. Stat. Ann. § 59-29a01 et seq. (1994). The district court ordered the sexual offender's civil commitment, but the Kansas Supreme Court reversed. The State filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, challenging the decision.


  • The sexual offender suffered from both exhibitionism and antisocial personality disorder. 
  • The state supreme court found that the SVPA was unconstitutional as applied to someone who has only an emotional or personality disorder, rather than a volitional impairment. 
  • For such a person, the state supreme court determined that the State was required to show not merely a likelihood that the person would engage in repeat acts of sexual violence, but also an inability to control violent behavior. 
  • The United States Supreme Court determined that the State was required to prove a serious difficulty in controlling behavior in order to commit the sexual offender.

The judgment of the state supreme court was vacated and the case was remanded.

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